Dr. Alan Kadish
Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President
Patricia E. Salkin, JD
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Nadja Graff
Vice President, Division of Graduate Studies
Dr. Alan Kadish
Rabbi Doniel Lander
Abraham Biderman • Shmuel Braun • Dr. Benjamin Chouake • Allen Fagin • Howard Friedman Dr. Zahava Friedman • Gilles Gade • Rabbi Menachem Genack • Solomon Goldfinger Abraham Gutnicki • Debra Hartman • Judy Kaye • Brian Levinson • David Lichtenstein • Martin Oliner • Dr. Larry Platt Margaret Retter • Stephen Rosenberg • Israel Sendrovic • Gary Torgow • Jack Weinreb Rabbi Shabsai Wolfe • Steven Zuller
Louis H. Primavera, Ph.D.
Frank Gardner, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Academics
Rivka Molinsky, OTR/L, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Students and Innovation/Office of Disabilities Coordinator
Joseph Faiella-Tommasino, Ph.D., PA-C, FACC
Vice President PA Program Development & operations Chair, Northeast Division PA Programs
Faye Wlakenfeld, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Science
Stephanie J. Dapice Wong, DPT, PT, OTR/L, CAPS
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Sandra A. Russo, Ph.D., RN
Chair and Director, Nursing
Jill Horbacewicz, PT, M.A., Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy Special Assistant Vice President of Continuing Education
Hindy Lubinsky, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSHH
Chair and Director, Speech-Language Pathology
Frances Corio, PT, Ph.D., OCS
Associate Professor, Director, PDPT & OPTR Programs
Marissa F. Esposito, M.A.
Director of Alumni Affairs
Director of Student Affairs
Susan V. Powers
Executive Administrative Director
Lisa Shurley-Thompson, MBA, DMGT
Administrative Director, Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce
Dr. Nadja Graff
Touro College Division of Graduate Studies
As Vice President of the Division of Graduate Studies, Dr. Nadja Graff serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Touro’s six graduate schools. She is responsible for guiding the schools to enhance the quality and reputation of all its programs, to expand its scholarly footprint and to promote student success. Dr. Graff also supports faculty to facilitate increased collaboration and operational synergy between the graduate programs, and to oversee assessment processes. Dr. Graff joined Touro College in 1980 as a Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and taught health sciences students for more than 30 years in Touro’s Physician Assistant (PA) program and its Biomedical program (a joint M.S./M.D. program with Technion University in Israel). She served as Academic Coordinator in The School of Health Sciences’ PA program, and in 1999 was appointed the Founding Director of the Manhattan campus PA program. In 2010, she was appointed Associate Dean of The School of Health Sciences and has served as the Chair of Touro’s Academic Integrity Council since 2012.
In her current position, Dr. Graff is intimately involved with the administration and accreditation efforts of all Graduate Schools. She is serving for the second time as Co-chair of the Middle States Self-Study Committee. Dr. Graff is a member of the University’s Senior Management Group, and co-chairs the subcommittee on Academic Excellence for the University’s Strategic Planning Council. She has also exhibited leadership in the area of retention, co-chairing the college’s student success initiative, Project STRIVE. Dr. Graff’s energy, enthusiasm, charm, and intellect have made a profound and lasting contribution to the success and growth of the Touro University System.
Dr. Louis H. Primavera
Touro College School of Health Sciences
Dr. Primavera is currently the Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Touro and was the Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology at Touro College. Previously, he was the Dean of the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University and is Professor Emeritus at Adelphi. Dr. Primavera also served as Chair and was Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at St. John’s University. He is a licensed psychologist and is trained in behavior therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy. He had a private practice for more than 25 years and specialized in marriage counseling.
Dr. Primavera is a dedicated teacher and won the Excellence in Teaching Award at St. John’s and a teaching award at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where he held a staff position for 10 years. Dr. Primavera received his B.A. in Psychology from St. John’s University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from the City University of New York.
Well you're asking me why I got into academia. It's an interesting question. It was sort of accidental. I was a graduate student in the doctoral program at Queen's College, and we had a child. And I didn't want to leave my doctoral program. And someone told me about a teaching job. And I said, well, I'll give that a shot, and I fell in love with it.
I was at Adelphi University. I stepped down as Dean thinking I was going to go back and teach, and Dr. Lander was in touch with me. And he was an incredible human being. A very, very brilliant man, and we had some conversations, and eventually he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
Lou was an incredible colleague. He's someone who believes in the mission of Touro University. He has professionalized the School of Health Sciences. He's injected an element of research and inter-professional education.
Lou has been a builder throughout his career. And certainly when he came to Touro, looking back on the School of Health Sciences 14 years ago, it's grown in the number of programs. It's grown in the number of students. It's grown in the stature and reputation. And we really have Lou Primavera to thank for that.
And it's created a generation of practitioners who serve the community.
Touro's given me an opportunity to build something, and I really have enjoyed that. The way things have come together, the outstanding faculty, we have the growth of the faculty, it's been an exciting 13 and 1/2 years. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Lou Primavera is a big teddy bear. He cares about people, cares about their success. Lou, along with his dear wife Dr. Ann Primavera are valued friends to my entire family.
Lou Primavera is a sweetheart, that's the best way I could describe him. He's friendly, he loves people, and it comes through in everything he does.
Lou Primavera is really the dean's Dean. He's always thinking about his team, he's thinking about his students.
Dr. Primavera is a family man first, and he's also a good friend. He understands when you're trying to balance your work life and your personal life.
I love being at graduation because it's a family experience. I look out of the audience, and I see parents, grandparents, children, sometimes very young children. And they're all there to watch their husbands, sons, daughters, wives graduate, and going to go out to the field and make a difference.
Two, one, go!
[CHEERING] Unfortunately in the last number of years, I've gone through some personal tragedies. Two years ago, we lost our son. And this is very hard for me to talk about. The Touro community gathered around me and supported me, and helped me get through a very difficult time. I don't know that I'll ever be fully over it, I don't think you ever can deal with the loss of a child. But the constant support I think really made a major difference. I don't know that would happen other places.
[MUSIC PLAYING] I know that for all of us, he's an integral part of the Touro family. And anybody who knows Lou knows how important family is to him. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Lou Primavera is an incredibly talented person. You can't let that talent slip away.
I'm going to be stepping down as Dean and moving on to the provost office. I'm going to be the Associate Provost for special projects. I'll be working side by side with the provost. And I'm always there for advice because I have a real personal investment here. Touro's been a special place for me. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Dr. Joseph Weisberg
Touro College School of Health Sciences
Dr. Joseph Weisberg built his career on the fundamental belief that movement is life. Applying this principle to both his practice and his approach to academia, he gave countless students the opportunity to uplift their lives through education and he continues to help thousands of patients improve their health and quality of life through physical therapy.
After receiving his B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at NYU, Dr. Weisberg developed the Physical Therapy program at Touro College School of Health Sciences, first as a Distinguished Professor and ultimately serving as Dean of the school for more than two decades. He is the recipient of five professional and academic awards, and he authored three books and co-authored more than 30 publications in peer-reviewed dental and physical therapy journals. In addition, he has served on the editorial review board of the General Orthopedic and Sports Journal. He is also co-founder of MedGizmo, Inc., a medical technology company, serving as Wellness Director and on the Board of Directors. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Weisberg continuously practiced physical therapy and is the founder of North Shore Rehabilitation in Great Neck, New York, where he continues to improve lives.
Today, Touro is one of the major leaders of educating health care professionals. And it all began here and with Dr. Weisberg.
I was asked to open up the physical therapy program, and I contact the association. And they told me very simply, don't try because you'll not make it there. But I don't accept. I take challenges. I don't just bow to them. So I did, and got full accreditation first time around. And then we started with 12 students.
He was an incredible innovator. When I look back at all the programs while Dean Weisberg was a Dean in the School of Health Sciences, I am really amazed to recollect that not only was there a PA, and not only was there physical therapy, or occupational therapy, or speech language pathology, but he also got the nursing program underway. A neuropsychology program. Got a program with the Technion in Israel underway. He was always looking for innovative avenues to grow. And that was something that was very-- a very important part of Dean Weisberg's legacy at Touro.
We built it up to-- at some point, where there was a need for many physical therapists, that the association approached us and say, do more, take more. We built up a program-- just my program, for 72 students. Toys and model for a Jewish institution to do whatever they can, to which as many people as they can. And to serve in the best way possible. I was very fortunate to be part of it.
Dr. Joe Weisberg is a man of ethics, honesty. He's an outstanding clinician. Those are the foundation stones for the School of Health Sciences. And remain its hallmark many years after he's left the position as Dean. He set the foundation for us to achieve further greatness in the future.
And it all started here, from Dr. Weisberg's small program in Manhattan. He is the founder and the visionary of the School of Health Sciences.
I'm not a person to look for and not know for cognition. So even though my first reaction to say no, but then I said, no, I owe it to [NON-ENGLISH] because they put me on a higher level of what it means to be doing. To be continuously. Not to be satisfied at a certain level, but to continue to pursue. And that's really what I'm very grateful to Touro for. The opportunity to do, and to do, and to do.
Dr. Rosalie Unterman
Speech and Hearing Center
Dr. Rosalie Unterman is an Associate Professor in the Touro Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology. She received her B.A. and M.S. from Brooklyn College/CUNY and Ph.D. from New York University, with a focus in the area of fluency disorders. Dr. Unterman is the Clinical Director of the Graduate Program, Director of the Touro College Speech and Hearing Center, and the Touro College Certification Officer for the New York State Education Department (NYSED) TSSLD teacher certification. She has been a recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award of the School of Health Sciences.
Dr. Unterman has more than 45 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist and supervisor of students and Clinical Fellows in various settings. These include early intervention, home care, preschools, schools, private practice, clinical sites, day treatment facilities, and group homes. She came to the School of Health Sciences in September 2001 and has guided the clinical experience of all graduating classes of the Graduate Program in SpeechLanguage Pathology
My first day was supposed to be the day after 9/11.
She was actually hired for 9/12/2001. That very first day of work was a big challenge, getting across the Verrazano Bridge. The whole month was. But she always came. Was always here, because she knew that she had a job to do, and had to be here for her students immediately.
The students came. They came from New Jersey, Brooklyn, Rockland. They came to learn to be speech language pathologists.
She has literally dedicated her life to our graduate program in speech language pathology. She is interested in other people. She is interested in what other people think. She really, truly, enjoys interacting with students, faculty, staff on any level. And is really interested in them.
The students adore her. But it's not only the students. She was able to develop relationships in a beautiful way, with each and every one of the externships. And they ask for our students. Dr. Unterman's warmth and caring are really what helped us get through this rigorous program. And stayed with us to become the clinicians, and the supervisors that we are today.
She is so delightful to be around. She's so eager to help everybody. And she's a true team player, and just such a delight to be with.
It's not only knowing what's in the books. It's also having that feeling for the people that we are treating. And this is the message that I would want all of our graduates to take away with them. That they are very important. They are responsible for the lives of other people. And they should take that responsibility very, very seriously.
Recognizing 50 years of dedication to Touro College
In 1970 Esther Ingber began her distinguished career of over 50 years at Touro College, in the Office of the President, Dr. Bernard Lander, of blessed memory. Esther was the first Program Assistant in the Physician Assistant Program, assisting Shlomo S. Twersky, of blessed memory. Throughout her career, Esther has had the privilege of working in the School of Health Sciences with Dr. Joseph Weisberg, in the Graduate School of Education with Dr. Anthony J. Polemeni, as well as in Touro College’s Center for Geological and Environmental Sciences with Dr. Howard Feldman. In addition, Esther is a charter member of Touro’s Women’s Leadership Council and has been a member of both, the undergraduate and graduate, Graduation Committees.
At this dinner, we are excited to recognize Esther’s decades long career, assisting many of the academic personalities who helped create the Touro brand. Always willing to assist in any way possible, Esther represents the best Touro has to offer.
I can't remember your name, but trust me, I can remember from day one. [MUSIC PLAYING] There are very few people that are in the category of five decades of service to Touro. Esther Ingber shines and stands out in that category.
She was here right when Touro was pre-infancy, and she's been there for an entire professional career. So she's been with the University for close to 50 years.
Touro first started as just an office for visionary of Dr. Lander. I was the janitor. I opened up the building, I closed the building, I took Dr. Lander up in the elevator. I worked under Weisberg after the PA program. I was in the PA programs for about 20 years.
And then after that, I went with Weisberg to do alumni for the School of Health Sciences. To see the growth of it, it's a dream. You're talking about 36 students plus 20 students from the PA program the first three years, and now you're talking about thousands of students that are there throughout the programs that they have.
The growth that God gave the vision for this institution to grow is just so magnificent, and it's a beautiful thing. It was such an experience, because every year, something new happened. Every year, is there another new program.
Esther was the one who knew every single student, who knew everything about them. She was the one who was able to chat with them, and to bring them out, and to make them feel that this was their home, that people cared about them. That was Esther Ingber. And over the years, Esther has been my friend, she makes me laugh, she's got all these ideas.
There's always a smile on Esther's face, and really, Touro is her extended family. And we're so thrilled to be able to join with many of her friends and extended family to wish her well and to celebrate as we recognize her decades of loyal service to Touro University.
I want to thank them for allowing me to work there, for giving me the opportunity to grow there. And I wish the next 50 years will be more progressive, and on and on, and we'll be another Yale, or another Harvard. It's getting there, and I hope so.
Inaugural PA Class '74
Represented by Dr. James Cawley
James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C, DHL (hon) is Visiting Professor and Scholar-in-Residence at the Physician Assistant Leadership and Learning Academy at the University of Maryland Graduate School in Baltimore. Cawley taught and conducted research on the PA profession for nearly 40 years at The George Washington University Physician Assistant Program where he founded the PA/MPH Program and remains Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Following his graduation from the Touro College PA Program in 1974, he began his career as a primary care PA at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, earned his MPH in epidemiology from the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and pursued doctoral study in health policy at The George Washington University. Cawley has coauthored five books on PAs with more than 150 peer-reviewed publications on the PA profession and health workforce policy.